Monday, July 21, 2008

Monckton, APS, and Medusa

The Register published an entertaining article about the funny story involving Christopher Monckton and the American Physical Society.

Recall that Jeff Marque, an APS editor, wrote in their recent newsletter addressed to a small subgroup of the APS called "Forum on Physics & Society" an obvious truism, namely that a considerable fraction of the scientific community are climate skeptics. They opened a rare arena for scientific arguments about this issue.

Needless to say, that was already way too much for the true believers. In an article proudly called Physicists forced to reaffirm that human-caused global warming is “incontrovertible”, Joe Romm of Climate Progress initiated an e-mail campaign and encouraged hundreds of readers of his website to do the following:
So this editor who single-handedly smeared the good name of the American Physical Society and the 50,000 physicists it represents is one “Jeff Marque, Senior Staff Physicist at Beckman Coulter Corporation, 1050 Page Mill Rd., MSY-14, Palo Alto, CA 94304, jjmarque@sbcglobal.net.” Please do email him and his bosses (whose names and e-mails I will provide below) to let them know your thoughts.

What Marque has does [sic] is so beyond the realm of real scientific debate that he should be fired from his editorial position.
So you should imagine those hundreds of incoherent yet angry e-mails that the AGW zealots sent to Marque and his bosses (including Lawrence Krauss, the former FPS chair). Because of his blasphemy, they try to "fire" Jeff Marque - who is not even paid for this minor "job" of an editor. ;-) That's an example how the activist foam of the society starts to influence what's going on in the world. They can even fire people from jobs that don't exist! ;-)

(Recall how easy it was for Jo Abbess, an activist chick, to completely change an article written by the BBC.)

Nevertheless, the APS has published an article by Lord Monckton, Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, which not only summarizes some of the well-known inconsistencies (such as the wrong fingerprint) in the greenhouse model of the climate but also offers the readers an insightful review of the IPCC methodology.




Among many other things, Monckton explains that the key (and high) IPCC's figure for the climate sensitivity is based on one (1) scientific paper that uses another number "kappa" from two other papers - one of which was written by a person who has promoted his or her own paper through the IPCC. It doesn't exactly look like 2,500 people calculating the sensitivity.



The AGW mujahideens have eventually convinced the APS to add the following disclaimer above Monckton's invited contribution. The health warning (don't look at Medusa!) was written in red ink:
The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article's conclusions.
Some secret sources of mine indicate that this disclaimer was added by Lawrence Krauss, a well-known far-left critic of physics, who also recently claimed that the cosmologists are destroying the Universe by making observations.

Of course, Lord Monckton and many members of the scientific community have complained because his contribution was an invited one and the insulting fundamentalist disclaimer above was not a part of their agreement.

Moreover, the disclaimer is completely illogical, at least from a scientist's viewpoint. If the paper were not scientifically peer-reviewed in any way, how could they know whether its conclusions agree with the opinion of the "scientific community" or not? ;-) Only the people who don't read the bulk of any scientific papers could know whether they agree with a paper or not without reading it. They're supporting the AGW God regardless of the bulk of all papers and they seem to be particularly proud about their pure belief uncontaminatable by any arguments!

After some additional battles, the red ink comment was replaced by the following remark written in ordinary black ink (the same paragraph was also added above the consensus scientists' contribution):
The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
You have heard the holy word again and you will hear it infinitely many times in the future. Amen. That's all very funny. Imagine that a similar comment would be written about an issue that is so far remaining a subject to the scientific method. For example: "The APS reaffirms its official collective position that the cosmological evolution follows the Big Bang theory with dark energy and cold dark matter and particle physics beyond the Standard Model obeys the laws of string theory." ;-) That would be funny, right?

And I am probably being too optimistic here. The APS could also adopt the official position of the PI and announce that "the members of our society are certain the world follows the laws of ekpyrotic loop quantum cosmology with a variable speed of light, two metric tensors, and 30+ braided octopi swimming in the spin foam." :-)

At any rate, the American physicists are no longer treated as sui iuris. They must be protected from Lord Monckton's blasphemy much like little kids must be protected from beer. And frankly speaking, many of them fail to be sui iuris, indeed. There are just so many of them who have been so easily manipulated by the activist foam that I can no longer respect them as honest scientists even though many of them have contributed to high-energy physics and other disciplines.

And that's the memo.

Bonus

A TV regulating institution (Ofcom) in the U.K. decided that The Great Global Warming Swindle didn't materially mislead the viewers to cause harm or offense (i.e. Ofcom agreed that every single complaint by Myles Allen, Phil Jones, and "37 professors" was unjustifiable) but it did misinterpret some climate alarmists' words: see the full verdict and Steve McIntyre's comments. It could be the case but most of the specific accusations by the censor seem manifestly untrue to me.

For example, Fred Singer said in the program that David King argued that Antarctica would become the only habitable place on Earth by the end of the century. The censor argued that it was not true. I can tell you Fred's comment was true and we even know where King said exactly this thing. It was in the Independent on Sunday, May 2, 2004. See this Spiked article or make a Google search. The exact quote was:
Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked.
King was said to announce this far-reaching conclusion in a talk to a climate group. Now, the Independent on Sunday could have been inaccurate (although the quotation has never been challenged!). But if it is the case, it is the Independent on Sunday, and not Channel 4 or Fred Singer, who should be chastised! The alarmists are saying tons of similar mad things every day, so even if this particular quote were inaccurate, the big message, namely that the alarmists are lunatics, is accurate.

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